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Coney Island amphitheater features fabric roof

Exteriors | September 1, 2009 | By:

The iconic Coney Island has been through its share of troubles, but a $47 million, 8,000-seat amphitheater designed by Grimshaw Architects, New York, N.Y., could help bring more people to the famous location. The theater will feature a 5,400m2 roof made of steel and translucent fiberglass lit up by strobe lights. Marty Markowitz, president of Brooklyn Borough, describes the shape of the roof as “like a bicycle wheel with a massive steel rim and a ring at the middle of the helm.” The design is meant to keep concertgoers dry, as well as reduce the noise for nearby neighbors.

The bent shape of the roof provides its own tension, which leads to less structure, weight and cost. A retractable roof was considered, but the corrosive sea air and cost of maintenance and construction made the lightweight roof the better choice. And, in the winter, an ice rink can replace 5,000 of the seats beneath the canopy. The amphitheater is anticipated to be finished by the end of 2011.

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